Good News About Buddy! Turning the Corner
March 09, 2016
BENEFITING: Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
EVENT DATE: May 20, 2016
Six years ago this August, my husband, Matt, and I decided to visit a Lucky Dog adoption event. Little did we know that our lives were going to change forever. Buddy caught my eyes from across the event and I was done. I went over to him and he immediately looked up at me and rested his head on my arms. One of the Lucky Dog staff told me his incredible story.
On their last trip to South Carolina, the Lucky Dog Transport Team discovered Buddy in one of the shelters. He had been there for 6 months and was scheduled for euthanasia the next day. The team managed to find room for him on a volunteer’s lap and brought him back to D.C. Once we heard the story that today was going to be the day he was to be put down, we knew it was fate. Buddy came became part of our family that day.
He has had his share of health problems throughout the years but nothing like what happened after the blizzard of 2016. Buddy had been having diarrhea during the blizzard and was put on metronidazole. A few days into his treatment we began to notice odd behavior. Buddy was having trouble getting on and off of the bed and acting a bit awkward.
On February 11th, Buddy lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs. He was completely unable to walk and appeared to have severe vertigo. We immediately took him to the vet, who diagnosed metronidazole toxicity. There wasn’t much we could do but take him home and let the drugs flush through his system. However, a few hours after we got home, Matt noticed Buddy having what appeared to be seizures. On the advice of our vet we immediately took him to the Hope Advanced Veterinary Center Emergency Room.
Over the next 6 days, Buddy was treated for the worst case of metronidazole toxicity that any of the doctors at the Hope Center has ever seen. We spent every minute we could on the floor of the Emergency Department trying to comfort Buddy. He was cared for by nearly every doctor and vet tech in the entire center. Every attempt at treatment would show marginal if any improvement and the costs began to skyrocket. By the 3rd day we had spent nearly $4000. Of course, in the moment, we could only think about Buddy and not the rising costs of his treatment.
Because his symptoms would not abate by the third day, we were told he needed a neurological consult. Seizures are not common to metronidazole toxicity and the doctor wanted to rule out any underlying neurological issues. An MRI and $2400 later, we thankfully determined his brain was clean and his “seizures’ were actually something called a central vestibular event. Buddy would have extreme vertigo and go stiff in the legs, while his eyes would start rapidly moving up and down with something called vertical nystagmus. These events were the result of the metronidazole and could only subside when the drugs had left his nervous system.
By the 5th day, his neurological symptoms began to subside, but a new problem arose. His blood pressure, temperature and kidney values continued to cause concern and we were asked to transfer him to the internal medicine department for an abdominal ultrasound to rule out underlying GI issues. By this time, the credit card we were using to settle the account had reached its limit. For the first time during this ordeal, the issue of money hit us hard. We tried to ignore it as best we could, but we had to do something or his treatment was going to cripple us.
That night we contacted Lucky Dog and found out about CrowdRise. It is with great humility that I am writing to friends, family and anyone who has ever been rescued by a pet: Please help us recover from this. I have never been good at asking for help when I need it, but Matt and I need your help.
Buddy was released to us on the 6th day of his stay at the Hope Center. Our total bill for his care and treatment so far is more than $12,000. Since he has been home, we have been back to the Hope Center 3 times trying different treatments to address his underlying GI issues. Matt has had to work from home in order to provide constant care as buddy still has some issues with movement and eating making it unsafe for us to leave him home alone for more than a few hours. As I am writing this now, Buddy is currently sleeping in a nest of blankets, resting his head on Matt’s lap – a spot he prefers to spend the majority of his time.
Buddy is an incredibly sweet, loving dog and we honestly can’t imagine our lives without him. From February 11th through the 16th, we almost thought we had to. If it weren’t for the incredible care he received at the Hope Center, I don’t know if we would still have Buddy with us. His reaction to the metronidazole is astonishing, and no one we encountered had ever seen as severe a case as his.
His treatment is slow going, and the expenses continue to pile on. Please help us recover from this financial hardship so we can continue to provide a loving home for this truly lucky dog.
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue was gracious enough to help up set up this CrowdRise in order for your donations to be tax deductible. All of the proceeds will go towards Buddy’s continuing medical expenses. If donations exceed the total cost, all extra proceeds will go to Lucky Dog.
Thank you for the support.
Amy, Matt & Buddy Lipstein